Sermon Summary:We must pursue greatness but must first understand what it is or we will waste our lives in pursuit of a false 'greatness.'
I. Everyone has a desire for greatness.
Many times in life we engage in a competition where we show ourselves better than others. Jesus had his 3 closest disciples but He never addressed this. Instead he addressed the issue of how to be great without specifying who, if any, was being great.
However there are 2 problems:
- Our desire is corrupted by sin.We were created to glorify God, not ourselves. We should not promote ourselves. Our selfish, prideful, sinful focus has corrupted the desire to promote true greatness (Isa 43:6-7).
- Our definition of greatness is corrupt.Consider the disciples' misunderstanding of their Messiah and their inability to grasp that He would have to die on the cross. Like the disciples, we have a faulty foundation that defines 'greatness' for us.
When we allow culture to define greatness this is an idolatrous lure of self greatness. It promotes self above God.
II. Jesus defines greatness by His actions of giving of Himself and dying on the cross for us.
This challenges society's idea of what is great. To be first, you must be last. Make sense? Nope. Not in our society. You 'sacrifice' yourself for others to be great.
Self-centered rivalry hinders understanding of God's plan. That's why the disciples couldn't understand that it was necessary for Jesus to die. We must accept the least of all - in Jesus example it was a small child. We're to show hospitality, care and concern for the least of His people. This puts us in fellowship with Christ.
Jesus doesn't want Church snobs but those who are willing to get dirty by being with the lowest of his people; 'low' as defined by society. Greatness doesn't come through stature but through knowing Christ.
III. We must pursue greatness as defined by Jesus.
Looking out for the least. Being last.
Philippians 2:1-4 (ESV)
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Created 12 months ago